The Election Commission has let off BJP candidate from West Bengal's Nandigram Suvendu Adhikari with a light rap for his "mini-Pakistan" remark made at a public meeting last month.
In an order issued on Monday night, the poll panel warned Adhikari and said it "advises him to desist from using such statement while making public utterances during the period when Model Code of Conduct is in force".
The order said the commission is of the considered view that Adhikari violated Para 2 and 3 of Part 1 'General Conduct of Model Code of Conduct for the Guidance of Political Parties and Candidates'.
Adhikari is pitted against West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram, where polls were held earlier this month.
The poll panel had received a complaint from Kavita Krishnan of CPI-ML Central Committee which alleged that Adhikari delivered a "hate speech" while addressing a public meeting in Nandigram on March 29.
"Election is knocking at the door. You are not giving votes to Begum. If you vote for Begum, there will be mini-Pakistan. (Barely audible)... A Dawood Ibrahim has come up in your locality... We will note down everything. What is the government doing? What is the use of it?" the EC notice issued to Adhikari on April 8 said quoting his speech.
In his reply to the notice, Adhikari said he firmly believes in a free, fair and impartial election where there is no ill-will between the candidates and no personal attack is made while criticising political opponents.
The BJP leader said he had no malafide intention to criticise anyone personally or make any offensive or derogatory statement against anyone. He also promised to abide by any directive of the EC.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)